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Now With Prop 3 Passed, Backers Look to Stay Part of the Process

Joy Diaz, KUT News

The group of Austinites that collected signatures to get a single-member district plan on the November ballot wants to remain a part of the process now that Proposition 3 has passed. 

Prop 3 supporters, Austinites for Geographic Representation, gathered at City Hall today to announce the formation of an “advisory committee” to ensure single-member districts by 2014.

Former state Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, one of Prop 3 most active promoters, was on hand. He says many of the original activists are eager to help. 

“There are many people in Austin who participated, who are experts and have decades of experience in the different fields of redistricting, of drawing lines, of fair representation,” Barrientos said. “And we want to facilitate the city efforts – whatever we can help with – we have hundreds of years of experience among all these folks.”

This self-appointed advisory group is separate from the redistricting commission that will ultimately draw district boundaries. The City Auditor is tasked with assembling that group. The next step in the process is for the city to find volunteers to serve on the redistricting commission, which will ultimately divide Austin into 10 geographic districts.

The commission will have 14 members.  People who voted in three of the last five city elections and do not have (or have had) paid ties to the city, can volunteer to participate. You can read the language Prop 3 inserts in the city charter here. 

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
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